Learning Poker Is About
Playing Poker For Fun...
How to have FUN playing poker!
PLAY FOR GROWN-UPS! As long as anyone can remember cultures and societies have used the term “playing” cards. It’s because it’s fun. “Playing” almost certainly pre-dates cultures because even animals know how to play. The point is you take up poker to “play”, to have fun. The “hold’em” part of Texas Hold’em is apt because once it’s got a “hold” on you, it’s going to be part of your life. Some of the most successful people on the planet, who can choose any lifestyle they like, choose to travel the world playing poker. If they’re not in a casino in Vegas, they’re in a casino in Macau and if they’re in a hotel room, they’re online. Why? Because poker is a compelling rush and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should. Within an hour or two you’ll have adopted the persona of an Ed Norton or a Helen Chamberlain, hopefully on the grounds of your gender. What’s more, those first two hours needn’t cost you a bean. Be a “railbird”. Go online and just check out the basics of the game from the sidelines.
Try a few dozen “play money” games until you get in the swing of the thing. If it suits your nature that’s great but don’t feel the need to automatically launch into “real” money play. Take a Texas Hold’em tutorial online and make sure you’ve got all the bullets for the war you’re intending to wage. All the dailystarpoker.com tutorials are free and easy to follow.#
COMPELLING & CHALLENGING
Poker is a battle of wits, good fortune and experience. Sometimes it’s as easy as eating a cream cake and sometimes it’s as upsetting as the indigestion that can follow. Once or twice a year you’ll feel like you’re able to dance on logs heading down rapids, juggling live chain-saws and on other occasions your eyes will look like stop lights in the bathroom mirror. If I’m not reaching you, you’re dead! This is a game for people who like to “live” a little.
SOME SIMPLE START UP STUFF Let’s imagine you’re playing your very first hand of Texas Hold’em. You are dealt your two hole cards face down. You sneak a peek at your ace of hearts and your king of clubs (not bad). You decide to bet and the flop comes ace of diamonds-nine of spades and seven of clubs. So, right away you’ve paired your ace in the hole and your king is a nice high “kicker” card. If you’re in a short-handed game with, let’s say, just three other players, it would be worth going on at least to the “turn” card. If the turn pairs your king in the hole then go on to the “river”. If the “turn” doesn’t help you, probably it’s time to fold. All of these decisions assume that no-one else at the table is raising and re-raising like a psycho. Under those circumstances, as a beginner: Caution might be advisable. However, it doesn’t change the facts. In a short- handed game of Hold’em, two high pair are going to be hard to beat.
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KNOW WHEN TO BET
Let’s jump ahead to when you’re a reasonably competent online poker player. The most important thing to learn is how to get value from your betting. If you had read that a new company on the stock exchange was likely to out-perform the market, you’d probably invest in it. Now let’s suppose you actually have “inside information” about a new stock (illegal in stock market terms) but not in poker. Why? Because your hole cards are ONLY seen by you, so you have “inside information”. If the hole cards you’re holding are a pair of kings or aces you know you have a stock that’s about to out-perform the market. Invest in it! Bet! Raise! Re-raise before the flop! It’s that simple. This is not a guarantee that you’ll win every time, but making sound, legal “insider” investments will pay off in the long run. Aggression often works with a not so powerful hand but it is regularly rewarded when backing a premium hand.
YOU REALLY CAN WIN BIG!
The Daily Star is very fortunate to have TV presenter Helen Chamberlain as a regular contributor. You’d be hard pushed to find a more down to earth, normal young lady. She plays poker, like a lot of us, because she enjoys it. She’s not a seventy five year old poker genius like Doyle Brunson. She’s a fun loving blonde who enjoys football, her family and playing cards. Her poker winnings this year have been outrageous. She won £250,000 in the Ladbroke’s Poker Millions tournament alone back in August. Keep Helen in mind if you have any doubts that perfectly normal, every day folk can’t win big at poker. They can! They do! And she HAS! Real life truths are hard to argue against.
Have fun playing cards (poker!) at: www.DailyStarPoker.com
ALL THE ACES poker column:
Sunday, November 6, 2005: Playing Cards: Learning Poker Is About Playing Poker For Fun